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InfoQ Homepage News Apple's "HTML 5 and Web Standards" Showcase Criticized for Not Being Standard At All

Apple's "HTML 5 and Web Standards" Showcase Criticized for Not Being Standard At All

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Apple has created an HTML 5 Showcase that presents its vision for the next generation of the WWW. The fact that this page is only accessible using the Safari browser, while Apple advocates about web standards, has caused many to criticize the company’s lack of broader platform support.

The showcase demonstrates several HTML 5 capabilities and features that have to do with video, typography, transitions, audio, etc. Further more on the front page the company states that:

Standards aren’t add-ons to the web. They are the web. And you can start using them today.

The later statement falls short by the fact that the featured examples only work with the Safari browser and in the case of CSS 3D transforms demonstration, require Mac OS X Snow Leopard (Safari PC or plain Leopard won’t do).

This has caused negative reactions from prominent figures in the community:

Tim Bray: I go to and click on the demos in anything but Safari (Ffox, Chrome) and see Hm?

Dion Almaer: "We are based on standards. As long as you only use our implementation." errrr

Aza Raskin: Web standards are open and reliable" says Apple in their HTML 5 showcase which blocks non-Safari browsers

WebMonkey disapproved Apple decision to offer a browser specific gallery:

So much for web standards. Not only is user-agent sniffing absolutely the wrong way to determine the HTML5 capabilities of the current user, the implicit suggestion is that HTML5 is something only Apple supports. Microsoft recently published its own HTML5 showcase to hype the coming release of Internet Explorer 9, and its demo pages are viewable (and work) in any non-IE browser with the proper support. Mozilla’s HTML5 demo pages are geared to work with experimental builds of Firefox, but at least other browsers aren’t blocked, and most of the demos actually work in Chrome.

Also Haavard writing on the Opera blog, notices that the “Standards” demos actually use vendor specific prefixes for the CSS3:

Apple claim to promote HTML5 and an open Web, but the page uses browser sniffing to block other browsers, vendor prefixes for the CSS3 stuff they are using (even if other browsers support border-radius it won't work because it's coded using -webkit-border-radius), and the patent-encumbered H.264 for video. In fact, it seems that the only things that are HTML5 on that page are HTML5 <audio> and <video>.

On the other hand, some Safari Demos that demonstrate similar functionality seem to be working with the Google Chrome browser. This has lead people like Joe Wilcox to believe that this was just a marketing stunt by Apple to promote Safari:

It turns out the error message is a marketing stunt. Apple must be detecting the browser and blocking the demo to encourage people to download Safari -- and also to insinuate that other browsers are inferior. I say this because from the direct Safari Technology Demos page, the demos work just fine in Chrome.

You can find more information on browsers and HTML 5, right here on InfoQ.

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